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TODAY: The Middle Classless Society

LEADS

The Shrinking Middle Class: How We Got Here, And Why
http://fortune.com/longform/shrinking-middle-class-why/

Collapse In US Home Sales Confirms 'Peak Unaffordability'
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-24/us-home-affordability-hits-10-year-low

U.S. Retailers Had a Very Merry Christmas, According to Early Sales Data
http://fortune.com/2018/12/26/us-retail-holiday-sales/

Amazon Says Alexa Voice Shopping Tripled During 2018 Holiday Season
http://fortune.com/2018/12/26/amazon-alexa-2018-holiday-sales/

Top Amazon boss privately advised US government on web portal worth billions to tech firm
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/26/amazon-anne-rung-government-services-authority

Lockheed awarded $3.3B for PAC-3 missiles for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait
https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/12/24/Lockheed-awarded-33B-for-PAC-3-missiles-for-Saudi-Arabia-Kuwait/1751545676135/

Arms Sales to Saudis Leave American Fingerprints on Yemen’s Carnage
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/25/world/middleeast/yemen-us-saudi-civilian-war.html

Iran building a drone force based on captured US, Israeli tech — report
https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-building-a-drone-force-based-on-captured-us-israeli-tech-report/

Iran Is in Talks With Taliban as U.S. Plans to Limit Role
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-26/iran-says-in-talks-with-taliban-over-afghanistan-security

Dunford Dismisses Reports Of An Imminent Afghanistan Drawdown As ‘Rumors’
https://taskandpurpose.com/dunford-trump-afghanistan-withdrawal/

He Survived Two Mass Shootings. Now He is About to Deploy to Afghanistan.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/us/he-survived-two-mass-shootings-now-he-is-about-to-deploy-to-afghanistan.html

After Parkland shooting: A day-by-day fight over guns in America
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/12/26/parkland-school-shooting-10-months-gun-control-united-states/2310683002/

School lockdowns: How many American children have hidden from gun violence? 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/school-lockdowns-in-america/

Medical checks ordered after 2nd migrant child dies in custody
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2nd-death-in-month-of-migrant-child-in-us-custody-prompts-policy-changes-felipe-gomez-alonzo/

New global migration estimates show rates steady since 1990, high return migration
https://phys.org/news/2018-12-global-migration-steady-high.html

Europeans worry less about terrorism, more on migration
https://euobserver.com/justice/143786

Top economist Gary Hufbauer on how the "envy factor" fuels global populism
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-economist-gary-hufbauer-on-how-the-envy-factor-fuels-global-populism/

With support from Steve Bannon, a medieval monastery could become a populist training ground
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/with-support-from-steve-bannon-a-medieval-monastery-could-become-a-populist-training-ground/2018/12/25/86dac38a-d3c4-11e8-a4db-184311d27129_story.html

We Looked at 46 Populist Leaders. Here’s What They Did to Democracy.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/hard-data-populism-bolsonaro-trump/578878/

Trump’s Populism and the Republican Base
https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/12/24/trumps-america-first-doctrine-upsets-the-globalist-applecart/

Ideology Is Out, Identity Is In
http://reason.com/archives/2018/12/25/ideology-is-out-identity-is-in

POLITICS and FLEAS

'It's a Disgrace... but Other Than That, I Wish Everybody a Merry Christmas.' President Trump's Sour Holiday
http://time.com/5488211/donald-trump-disgrace-merry-christmas/

Donald Trump makes Christmas calls to troops, denies collusion and defends shutdown stand
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/25/shutdown-donald-trump-makes-christmas-calls-denies-russia-collusion/2411104002/

Trump is first president since 2002 to not visit troops around Christmas
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/422857-trump-is-first-president-since-2002-to-not-visit-troops-around

Did a Queens Podiatrist Help Donald Trump Avoid Vietnam?
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/us/politics/trump-vietnam-draft-exemption.html

FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS

Japan Embraces Commercial Whaling, Pulls Out Of Global Alliance That Banned Practice
https://www.npr.org/2018/12/26/680143270/japan-embraces-commercial-whaling-pulls-out-of-global-alliance-that-banned-pract

Tunisia's Tumultuous Year Ends in Protest After a Journalist Set Himself on Fire
http://time.com/5488307/tunisia-protests-kasserine-poverty-arab-spring/

Sudan police fire live ammunition to block Khartoum protest march
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/sudanese-police-fire-tear-gas-halt-protest-march-181225141659255.html

The GMO Issue Reaches Boiling Point in India: Interview with Aruna Rodrigues
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/26/the-gmo-issue-reaches-boiling-point-in-india-interview-with-aruna-rodrigues/

Narendra Modi's got a farmers problem
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/narendra-modi-farmers-problem-181218114836685.html

PANDORA'S BOXCUTTER

Pork farming: the next battlefield for fighting antibiotic resistance
https://www.statnews.com/2018/12/21/pork-farming-fighting-antibiotic-resistance/

Could Pasture-Raised Pork Provide a Sustainable Future for Hog Farming?
https://psmag.com/environment/a-sustainable-future-for-pork

2019 will be the year alt-meat goes mainstream
https://www.fastcompany.com/90280647/2019-will-be-the-year-alt-meat-goes-mainstream

THE MEDIA SCRUM

How Will Rock and Roll Find Its Future?
https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/how-will-rock-and-roll-find-its-future.html

The metalheads of the Navajo Nation
https://www.hcn.org/articles/photos-heavy-metal-music-in-the-navajo-nation

Nashville’s History, in Music
http://bittersoutherner.com/from-the-southern-perspective/music/nashville-history-in-music-granville-automatic

ODDS, ENDS

Bad Vibes: How Hits To The Head Are Transferred To The Brain
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/24/678863059/bad-vibes-how-hits-to-the-head-are-transferred-to-the-brain

Ex-NFL star working on 'intercellular' helmet to curb concussions, CTE
https://www.upi.com/Sports_News/NFL/2018/12/26/Ex-NFL-star-working-on-intercellular-helmet-to-curb-concussions-CTE/2511545783194/

He runs one amateur football game per year. He makes more than $1 million.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/he-runs-one-amateur-football-game-per-year-he-makes-more-than-1-million/2018/12/24/80b30450-04a6-11e9-9122-82e98f91ee6f_story.html

How big bonuses for winning coaches became a tradition in college football
https://theconversation.com/how-big-bonuses-for-winning-coaches-became-a-tradition-in-college-football-108171

The Great NFL Heist: How Fox Paid for and Changed Football Forever
https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2018/12/13/18137938/nfl-fox-deal-rupert-murdoch-1993-john-madden-terry-bradshaw-howie-long-jimmy-johnson-cbs-nbc

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